Coping with Tourism in Impacted Destinations
Centre for a Sustainable Future – June 1998
by: Dr Edward W. Manning (with the assistance of Stacey Prieur, Tourism Consultant)
The rapid growth of tourism, now one of the largest industries on the planet, brings new challenges to host governments. For many of the worlds nations tourism is the largest source of foreign exchange and one of the strongest agents of change affecting their society and economy.
Small island nations, fragile coastal and mountain ecosystems and native cultures are among the most heavily targeted destinations. In many small nations, tourists outnumber nationals in peak seasons. Ratios greater than ten to one of tourists to locals are common at popular beach destinations and cultural sites. Few of the world’s nations are well prepared for the significant impacts of a rapidly growing tourism industry.
This paper addresses the specific challenges associated with the characteristics and impact of the tourism sector. It also examines some of the emerging models and success stories that may assist nations in using tourism as a positive engine of sustainable development at national and regional scales.